Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Janet H. Sullivan
P.O. Box 1199/143 Tonset Road, Orleans, Massachusetts 02653
Telephone and Fax: (XXX) XXX-XXXX E-mail: [email protected]
To Whom it May Concern:
This document and the accompanying appendices/police reports detail a situation that has made my life very difficult, threatened my health, and placed me in total despair for a solution. In short form, the Orleans Police Department violated guidelines for having my license suspended, the Registry “rubber-stamped” that suspension, and, now, because, they violated their own procedures, there is no defined path for getting my license back. Not to mention any sense of due process!
If I had done something wrong, like being arrested for DUI, for example, I would now have my license back. Because I did not do anything wrong, there is no solution, leaving me quite simply the victim of police abuse, denied the ability to lead even a simple life in this small Cape Cod town, with negligible public transportation.
Orleans is part of the United States, is it not? Yet the whim of a local policeman can virtually snuff out my ability to lead even a simple life.
I have photocopied pages of the police reports given to me by the Orleans Police Department on various dates, and some other pertinent documents. Following are some of my observations.
One: An insurance claim was filed against me for an accident for which I had no blame. Patrolman Brian D. Carchedi, the policeman who started this whole episode, did not witness the accident. He based his action solely on a note left by someone sitting in the parking lot:
“Mon. April 7 1:25 p.m. Hello- I was sitting in my car as the car between yours and mine pulled out and I heard a crunch. I looked up and saw the woman driver hesitate look at your car and then drive away. The license of her black jeep was 9456EB. If you need me at a witness of have any questions please fell free to call-XXX-XXX-XXXX Susan Weegar”
This is a word-for-word copy, spelling, punctuation, and grammar uncorrected, of the note left by Ms Weegar.
Have you ever been to the Orleans Snow Library? Who would NOT hesitate pulling out of that parking lot, full of pedestrians—children, elderly people, many vehicles? It would be criminal negligence NOT to hesitate. But to infer that because I hesitated, I hit a car is erroneous. Everybody backing out of that lot could be so accused. I did not strike this person’s vehicle, and there is NO evidence on my vehicle of striking anything.
Patrolman Carchedi said she was “sitting in her car eating a sandwich.” Perhaps this was the crunch she heard.
TWO: Patrolman Carchedi described our encounter at my place of residence in his police report. I describe our encounter here:
There was a knock on my door. Patrolman Carchedi asked me if I had been to Snow Library that afternoon. I said, “Yes.” (I did NOT throw my arms up in the air in a frantic manner and begin screaming and yelling at the patrolman that everyone was out to get me……that is behavior stereotypically attributed to people of latin and south American or southern European origin. I am entirely of Northern European origin, and we are stereotyped as cold, emotionless, dispassionate…)
On the very off chance that I’d hit a vehicle I did not hit, and that had left no traces on my vehicle, I offered to speak with Mrs. Haeberli. She never called me. Patrolman Carchedi got out his camera and went around my entire vehicle taking pictures. The more he found no signs of contact with another vehicle, the more agitated he became.
He then said he did not have to write me up for this, but he could tell I was lying to him because I could not look him in the eye. I said that I WAS looking him straight in the eye, that I was not lying, and that moreover, I was a teacher, not a criminal. He then said, “Oh teacher, teacher, teach me how to tell the truth.” He was so close to me, so much “in my face” that spit from his mouth landed on my face. I then said, “Well, …just do as I do, and tell the truth.”
He wrote his citation, for criminal misdemeanor no less, and departed. There was a civilian witness to most, but not all, of these goings-on. I noted that Patrolman Carchedi did not ask for my friend’s name, and I certainly shall not give it out—unless/until he testifies in court on my behalf, which he has said he will.
There is a photocopy of the report and photos - what Patrolman Carchedi says is gray paint on my bumper. I was given a black and white (actually gray) photocopy that shows no detail. No better proof was offered in court, by the way. (And the case was dismissed.)
THREE: I am not a “nut case” or someone “known to have numerous psychological problems.” (can you say litigation?) My psychotherapist, Dr. David Presnall, states my ONLY mental condition, and the reason I am on Social Security Disability. (Documented)
FOUR: If you want a detailed report of WHY and HOW I got on disability, ask me. Here’s a clue. On August 6, 1991 at about 9 pm, I called the Orleans Rescue Squad because my then-fiancé, John J. Miller, with whom I had just eaten dinner, was having a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He turned out to have an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in his head, a condition present since birth, with tangled arteries and veins and many nasty aneurisms. He was operated on at Cape Cod Hospital on August 6, 1991, but should have been medi-vacked to Boston. He later had multiple brain surgeries performed by world-known doctors at New England Medical Center, but because of his first surgery at CCH, he has severe irreparable short term memory loss. I have been John’s legal guardian for 17 years, at great expense and the commission of career suicide. I resigned from Cape Cod Tech in 1994, finally, after being an advocate and daily visitor to John in Boston, and taking care of my non-driving mother while my father was in Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, MA for a month in a coma. I applied for and received disability in August of 2000, after going through all my own resources, and trying to accomplish the impossible for my ward. Sometimes I succeeded.
FIVE: I’ve been a member of the Orleans Cultural Council, the Cape Cod Tech School Committee for Orleans, taught at Cape Cod Tech for 12 years, as well as various other places. I have a BA in English, Social Studies and Art from UMass-Amherst and an M. Ed from UMass-Boston in English, Social Studies and Art. I am also certified to teach Vocational Arts Graphic Arts Copy Preparation/Computers, which I did for 12 years. I have been a resident taxpayer and voter at 143 Tonset Road in Orleans for 27 years. My life is squeaky clean. I have never been arrested for anything. Nobody in my family has ever been arrested.
SIX: My license was revoked after a report to the RMV by Patrolman Carchedi. The offense is “IMMED THREAT-MEDICAL/ORLEANS.” What is the immediate threat? What is the medical condition?? This has been a HUGE annoyance. I maybe am a Type 2 diabetic, and have been forced to walk 3 to 5 miles daily to get food and to lead a semblance of a normal life. On Wednesday, 21 May/2008 a clerk at Citizens Bank in Orleans called the rescue squad for me. I had severe shooting pains in my right leg and could not walk. The ER doctor said that I had bursitis from overwalking. Yet, what choice did I have?? Not eating the correct food will kill a diabetic in short order.
SEVEN: A criminal complaint was filed by Melissa E. Marshall (who is she? I know she is an Orleans Police Officer, but what does she have to do with me?) The report is filled out very incompletely. There is a new hearing date because, fortunately, I got copies of police records that a hearing had been held on May 9, 2008, which had long since passed. I called the courthouse, and the person to whom I spoke said that my copy of the summons to appear had been returned unopened…..although, looking at the citation form I had signed and dropped out, she saw that I had put my address as P.O. Box 1199, not PO Box 199, as the summons envelope to me was addressed.
I submit that this error was intentionally made by Patrolman Carchedi as a way of delaying the reinstatement of my license – since his case had no merit. And at the rescheduled hearing on July 11, 2008, the criminal citation was dismissed—“No Probable Cause.” What a surprise.
EIGHT: There ARE NO CURBS on either Finlay or Giddiah Hill Roads, therefore there could have been no “FRESH CURB MARKS ON TIRES.” It is a rutted, potholed road that has had orange and white repair barrels for more than a year. Giddiah Hill Road also has many potholes.
NINE: Three Orleans Police Department Officers came into the Pause-a-While Building at 26 Giddiah Hill Rd., where I was attending a noontime 12-step meeting, and asked me to step outside. They pointed to my parked jeep, which was quite a distance from where we were standing, and told me there were “obvious fresh curb marks” on my tires. I did not see any.
They departed without giving me any kind of citation or warning. The “MOTORISTS” who said they saw me hitting these non-existent curbs is unidentified. How convenient. I thought Orleans, Massachusetts was part of the United States of America, which has laws about this kind of thing…..
Now, MAYBE I backed into a police cruiser driven by Patrolman Brian D. Carchedi on 19 March 2008.. This was two days after I came home to find the Orleans and Eastham fire departments on my lawn, attempting to put out a very hot fire. I lost everything I owned in this fire, and my two 5-month-old kittens lost their lives. I backed into Patrolman Carchedi’s cruiser because he was tailgating me at the stoplight where I was attempting to back up slightly from the white line. He states in his report that there is no damage to either vehicle. No ticket or citation was issued.
He told me that he had first met me two days before, at the scene where my house burned down. I told him I did not remember meeting him, because I was preoccupied with more important things like a very tall, kind firefighter with tears in his eyes handing me a dead 5-month-old kitten. He got a shovel (the firefighter, not Patrolman Carchedi) and helped me bury little Angel. I took my jacket off so she wouldn’t be cold, and asked him to dig deep so the coyotes and other predators would not get at her. He complied. I also placed rocks on her grave. My other kitten died at the vet’s office, although the Orleans Fire Department tried to save her life. (I am entirely grateful to them for their help that night, as well as to the Red Cross, who found me lodging for the next few nights.)
TEN: A picture of a tire was taken by Patrolman Brian D. Carchedi. I am not sure what it is supposed to show. Fresh Photoshopped curb marks? No ticket or citation or warning was issued.
ELEVEN: There is also a “narrative” by one Kerry O’Connell, unknown to me. She (or he) says “This party is known to me and has many psychological problems.” A (sic) immediate threat form was filled out on April 21, 2008 by Patrolman Brian D. Carchedi. (It is never a good idea to put statements like this in writing—that someone has many psychological problems. That is litigious. Is Kerry O’Connell a psychiatrist??)
TWELVE: On 5/01/08, Officer Daniel Elliott kindly stopped on Tonset Rd. and gave me a ride to my appointment with Dr. Matthew Rubel, who has an office at Boardwalk on the Cove. I told Officer Elliott this. I did not go to the Double Dragon. Please check with Dr. Matthew Rubel. He is in the phonebook, and has been informed of this ride by me.
THIRTEEN: I certainly was not “WAIVING DOWN VEHICLES,” and am not quite sure what Officer Elliott means by this statement. I DID have a broken tailbone. This occurred when I rode my bicycle to the Pause-A-While on Giddiah Hill Road off Finlay Rd. When I stopped at my destination, a rough gravel parking lot, my bike fell on me because the last person I let ride it had adjusted the seat a bit too high and both of my feet did not reach the ground. Patrolman Carchedi had seen fit to have my right to drive my vehicle taken away, for all the spurious reasons mentioned in all these reports.
FOURTEEN: On 5/06/2008, someone named Brian Allard called the Orleans Police Department, advising of “A FEMALE ON RT. 28 HEADING SOUTH BY FINLAY RD, IN AND OUT OF TRAFFIC. WALK IN COMPLAINT ALSO.” (person unnamed.) Officer Daniel Elliott stopped me for WALKING (he had to get out of his police cruiser and walk to do so) and said “SHE WAS WALKING NEAR THE SIDE OF THE ROAD ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE.”
I told the officer that I had been walking since I was 1 year old, and had never been stopped for walking; moreover, I had never heard of anyone being stopped for walking (this was not jaywalking, just plain old walking). The officer said, “Oh, it happens all the time. Just the other day I stopped 2 kids on bikes….” And then his voice trailed off as he realized what he had just said. He then said, “But they weren’t walking.” I asked him if he had EVER stopped anyone for walking (before me) and he said he had not. He then assisted me across the street to the “PROPER SIDE TO WALK ON FOR SAFETY.” Shortly thereafter, I was given a ride by some friends who were going to the same place I was going.
FIFTEEN: Patrolman Brian D. Carchedi sent a copy of his Criminal Report to my auto insurance company.
The owner of the car, Mrs. Haeberli, nevers states that she KNOWS who hit her car, which was parked at the library for two hours. I did NOT hit Mrs. Haeberli’s vehicle. There is NO trace of impact on my Jeep. My Auto Body Mechanic told the insurance adjuster that there were a few scratches on my fenders—but these were from normal Jeep driving, in the woods and on the outer beach. And it is, after all, an 11 year old vehicle. The insurance adjuster told me that they had to give the OTHER party the benefit of the doubt and assume that I was at fault, but that I should fight it in traffic court. Why should I have to fight it in traffic court, which is in Plymouth, a long walk from Orleans?
SIXTEEN: The RMV Hearings Officer made a decision that I must get a medical evaluation form signed off by my doctor, and then take a road test. 2 doctors “fired” me (i.e., refused to treat me any longer)—the Hearings Officer had attached a copy of the “Request for Suspension…” to the evaluation form, highlighted in yellow.
My current primary, Dr, Khan of Outer Cape Health in Wellfleet, told me he could not sign off on a nonspecific medical threat. (I think that is logical.) The RMV could come up with no medical or even REAL reason, so they went back to LAST year, when Dr. Ziad Farah (Endocrinologist) signed the Registry form that I was fit to drive. I was NOT asked to take a driving test. THIS year, when I presented him with a criminal citation highlighted in yellow, he wanted no part of it or me.
WHY DID I LOSE MY LICENSE? There are several explanations. Intentional police abuse. Intentional denial of due process. The bungling error of a rookie patrolman compounded by a stubborn Chief of Police who refused to admit that any of his men could ever make a mistake – any mistake? An error compounded by vicious and litigious slander? I don’t care WHY anymore. But is upholding this mess where you want your tax dollars at work?
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).